For the first time in a long time, there is hype surrounding a Seattle Seahawk’s draft. It took the worst season since 2011 and that was before trading away franchise quarterback Russell Wilson. But every cloud has a silver lining, and the silver lining on this season’s dark cloud is that the Seahawks are picking in the top 10. A top 10 pick is obviously a great asset but it can depreciate very quickly if you make the wrong selection (something Seattle fans are quite familiar with recently). That is why it is incredibly important for Seattle to nail the ninth pick this year in order to get back on track. So, John Schneider and Pete Carroll if you are reading this, let me fill you in on my candidates for the ninth overall pick.
First let’s address the elephant in the room: Quarterbacks. It is incredibly likely that the Seahawks end up with a quarterback from this draft, so the ninth pick is certainly in play for a signal-caller. Either Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett could easily be the pick for Seattle. I don’t know if Willis will make it to number nine though. With Detroit, Carolina, and Atlanta all picking before Seattle, there is a very strong possibility that a quarterback comes off the board in the first eight picks, and that guy will probably be Willis. But we can’t rule out the Seahawks taking a quarterback to fill the Russell Wilson-sized hole in their offense. I would advise Seattle to not take one of those quarterbacks and instead build the roster up in other areas.
OT Charles Cross
If Seattle opts to draft for need it will certainly look very hard at offensive tackle. The tackle spots have been a bit of a weakness in recent years and now the Seahawks are down both starters from the 2021 team as Duane Brown and Brandon Shell are still free agents. The top 10 is a great place to acquire a stalwart offensive tackle like Seattle did when it selected Russell Okung the last time they drafted in the top 10. Cross will very likely be the best tackle left on the board when Seattle is on the clock. They should be very happy to draft a player such as Cross to take over the left tackle position for the next decade (fingers crossed).
OT Trevor Penning
Seattle could also address the tackle position but go in a different direction by selecting Penning. He is a mauler with a ton of potential but lacks the fine-tuning that a player such as Cross has. He still would be a very welcome addition to the Seahawks, though. He would slide right in at either tackle position and block for whoever ends up taking snaps that year. Drafting any offensive tackle would be a win for the Seahawks because it has been a position of need for so long.
EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux
This is my personal prediction for who Seattle should take with its first-round pick. If the draft was based solely on talent Thibodeaux would probably go number one overall. But if he’s got the talent to go first overall but is on the board for Seattle at number nine then there must be something wrong with him, right? Well, the answer is maybe. There are some doubts about his motor and dedication to being a football player at the highest level but for now, those are unfounded. I think Thibodeaux deserves a fair shot to prove that he can be a successful NFL player, and I would like that shot to come as a member of the Seahawks. He would give the Seattle defense the type of talent rushing on the edge that it honestly hasn’t had in a very long time. He is the type of player that can change a franchise and after losing two franchise icons over the offseason, that is something the Seahawks should strongly consider with this pick.
EDGE Jermaine Johnson
There is a possibility that Thibodeaux does not make it to number nine on draft day, in which case Seattle could pivot to another edge rusher in Johnson. He didn’t garner the same attention in college as some of the other edge rushers in this class but he deserves to be in the same conversation as them. This pick would be much less franchise-changing than some of the other hypothetical draft selections, but that does not make it a bad thing. I think Johnson has a very high floor as a professional football player and will stick around for a while, even if he doesn’t become a generational player. The Seahawks might be better off going with a safer pick in Johnson based on how some of the previous first-rounders have fared.
CB Ahmad Gardner
When Seattle was at its best as a franchise they were led by a dominant secondary. While there may not be a Richard Sherman or Kam Chancellor to be had in this year’s draft, Gardner would absolutely be worthy of starring in his own lockdown secondary. He was the best corner in college last season even though you might not have noticed him on television because no quarterbacks ever threw at him. A lockdown corner like Gardner is one of the most valuable players a football team can have, which Seattle knows from its days with the Legion of Boom. A lot of people might scoff at the idea of drafting a corner this high when there are glaring needs on the roster at offensive tackle and pass rusher, but the Seahawks have never been a team to act conventionally (sometimes to its demise) so corner could absolutely be in play here.
CB Derek Stingley
The highest upside pick in the draft, definitely in the top 15, is Stingley. He had one of the best true freshman seasons in recent memory but the two follow-up seasons left much to be desired. The talent is tantalizing. He played like the best corner in the country as a freshman so if he can tap back into that, he might be unstoppable in a few years. Seattle could go with Stingley because of that potential or because Gardner is off the board and they want to address the cornerback position. This is definitely one of the higher-risk picks Seattle could make but it also could provide them with a huge reward. That potential payout might be too intriguing for the Seahawks to pass up, despite the risk, which is why Stingley could very well be the first Seattle draft pick this year.